(The article first appeared in Deccan Chronicle on September 3, 2021)
- The reopening of schools in a handful of states is the clearest sign that we are learning to live with Covid. The pattern of reopening schools is not yet a coherent strategy as it is not uniform across India but received wisdom of the last 17 months suggests that each state or region must take its own decision as best fits the situation in its fight with the virus. The threat from the virus may never fully recede, which means that education cannot be held up forever. There is a compelling need to first put the older children back in schools where they are at their happiest among peers and where their learning can take the traditional, in-the-classroom shape again. Enough damage has been done to their education in the year and a half after normal life was disrupted in general lockdowns.